Hitachi sets benchmark for classroom interactivity with its Duo Interactive Whiteboard

Building upon the extraordinary reception of its FX DuoBoard and ED-A100 Ultra Short Throw projector, Hitachi will be showcasing newly added functionality to this winning combination. New for 2009 is the Hitachi ‘Integral’ – an electronic mounting solution with an adjustable height of up to 85”. Made from aluminium, this powered support system is durable, strong yet light in weight.

Making its debut this year is the ED-A101, the ideal Ultra Short Throw projector for education. The ED-A101 keeps existing functionality and benefits of the ED-A100 while delivering cost savings and a reduction in waste from the introduction of a hybrid filter.

The ED-A101 continues Hitachi’s technological innovation by delivering a 60" projection screen at only 42 cm. Images are free from the shadowing effects that can interfere with viewing and with the operation of interactive white boards.

The reduction in throw distance and the introduction of a high angle projection capability means that this projector can be sited very close to the screen. This brings additional convenience, viewing comfort and safety as well as eliminating shadowing effects common with conventional projectors.

"Teachers can engage better with their pupils and no longer do they need to bend and stretch to avoid projector beams," said Axel Kutschke, Senior Manager, Presentation Products for Hitachi Digital Media Group.

The ED-A101 is designed to work either stand alone or to be integrated seamlessly with a Hitachi FX Duo Board (or indeed similar interactive whiteboards). This offers teachers flexibility when creating their own solutions. As projectors and whiteboards tend to have different lifecycles, this enables head teachers to unbundle the buying decisions of the two items and ensures that they maximise existing investments in whiteboard technology.

Along with the short throw feature the Hitachi projector boasts features to aid security, usability and offers easy maintenance when necessary.

The 3LCD panel in the model provides crisp, flicker free images at XGA resolution and brightness levels of 1600 (lm) in normal and 2000 (lm) in bright mode. Options for audio, visual, computer and network connectivity help to ensure easy and versatile operation. A PIN lock and MyScreen PIN lock, a Kensington lock attachment, a stainless steel security bar and tamper-proof labeling improve security on multiple levels. An email alert provides additional security when the projector is detached from the network.

The projector's quiet operation (28dB) is due in part to a filter that maintains temperature levels while using a slower, low noise fan. Should the long life cycle components need maintenance there's easy access to both the lamp and filter.

Hitachi has developed a range of projectors to specifically meet the needs of education. The new CP-X809 and CP-X10000 serve as ideal solutions for mid to large lecture halls, while the CP-X410 offers widescreen capability. The ED-X40 and ED-X42 projectors are Hitachi's next generation education projectors designed to drive down the total cost of ownership further still. These new models replace the highly popular ED-X31 and ED-X33 projectors. Offering lasting value to the modern education environment with simple and quiet operation, easy and cost-effective maintenance and renowned Hitachi anti-theft features, these projectors raise the benchmark for BECTA compliant projectors still further.

Hitachi will also be launching the FX-Duo-88-W, a widescreen version of its FX Duo Board.

A further addition to the FX Duo package is a brand new version of the popular StarBoard software, which operates the Duo Board.

This FX DuoBoard sets a new benchmark in interactive whiteboard technology with its distinctive simple touch of a finger or pen feature combined with a hard and durable surface – previously finger based technology required a touch membrane surface which was easily damaged. The FX-Duo combines all existing whiteboard functionality in one single solution giving educators and learners more flexibility in the classroom.

Peter Sumpter, Head Teacher at Poplar’s Farm Primary School in Bradford was an early adopter of the Duo Board/ Projector combination. He sites the dry/wipe ability and the durability of the board and the ultra short throw projector as being the key motivators for buying the system. As its name suggests the FX-Duo has a number of dual functions which enhance its versatility. As well as the pen or touch of finger activation, the FX-Duo is able to support multiple users, so two students and or a teacher and pupil could be using the board simultaneously during a fully a lesson, a feature which perfectly lends itself to the classroom and group activities.

Using Hitachi’s Starboard Software, teachers using the FX-Duo can also easily move images around with the touch of a finger and have full control of the zoom function with a sweep of the hand. Hitachi’s Product Specialist, Peter Kerrison believes FX-Duo takes whiteboard technology into a new era. He commented: “We have responded to the needs of the classroom with the new Duo Board. Teachers need a flexible tool that can be used all pupils for an interactive lesson – whatever their age and ability. Younger children find it easier to use their fingers but at the same time schools need hard-wearing whiteboards. The Duo Board provides the answer.”

Unlike other interactive whiteboards which are touch-sensitive, the duo board’s unique technology means it will continue to operate no matter what rigours its surface is forced to endure e.g. scratches or dents. This makes it extremely cost-effective and appealing particularly for uninterrupted learning.

FX-Duo at a glance:

Robust surface - The surface is robust and the whiteboard works even if there are scratches/dents on the surface.
Low reflection - Thanks to the special coating of the surface, projector reflection is minimized and it is gentle for eyesight.
Input Methods - It is possible to use a finger/object in addition to Electronic Pen to operate the whiteboard (two stylus pens are bundled).
Simultaneous Inputs - It is possible to operate the whiteboard using both hands (gestures). Scroll and Zoom-in/Zoom-out are available in StarBoard Software.
Field Replaceable Digitizer - The digitizer is detachable and it is unnecessary to send the whole unit for repairing.
Electronic Pen (Optional:) - There are three side buttons and users can assign mouse events as desired.”

ED-A101 at a glance:

World’s first free shaped lens.
Projects a 60” screen from only 42 cm.
Glare and shadow free projected images.
Enhanced security features – security bar, pin-lock, Email alert when connected to a network
New hybrid filter reduces maintenance cycles and reduces waste.

CP-X10000 at a glance:

Reliability : Dust-resistant cooling system, 10,000 hour air filter, long life inorganic LCD panel and polarisers
Flexibility : An extensive choice of lenses to cater for wide range of throw distances, screen sizes and lens shift requirements
Total Cost of Ownership : Low maintenance costs due to long service intervals, simplified maintenance tasks and proactive monitoring via email alerts
Performance : Brightest ever Hitachi projectors up to 7500 lumens, high contrast image and exceptional colour reproduction in a range of resolutions
Quality : High quality components and design to meet the demanding requirements of schools, colleges and universities

CP-WX410 at a glance:

True Widescreen : True 1280 x 800, 16:10 aspect widescreen images, fully compatible with industry standard laptop displays, now available across entire Hitachi projector range
Hybrid filter : 4000 hour hybrid filter delivers significant cost savings and environmental benefits from reduced waste
Total Cost of Ownership : Low maintenance costs due to long service intervals, simplified maintenance tasks and proactive monitoring via email alerts
Performance : High quality, bright images with choice of 3000 lumens multi-purpose and 4000 lumens installation projectors with high contrast
Flexibility : Widescreen projectors available for every application requirement and environment

CP-X809 at a glance:

Low Maintenance : Long life filter, lamp and LCD panel with clever design features and easy-to-use advanced network management software
Exceptional Price /Performance : High brightness Hitachi projector with quiet operation, 5000 lumens XGA image and excellent video performance
New Applications : High performance, low maintenance and long life extend usage to digital signage and public display applications
High Quality : New hybrid air filter and Hitachi image and build quality
Rich Connectivity : HDMI and BNC for improved connectivity options and higher quality signals as well as optional wireless networking

ED-X40/ED-X42 at a glance:

Hitachi Integral

Durable support system for the Hitachi FX DuoBoard and ED100
strong yet light in weight
Powered system available with remote control.
Minimal time spent on installation.
A very stable system, no new calibration is needed.

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